Rare Queen Victoria commemorative due for auction at Stansted

PUBLISHED: 07:46 21 May 2019

A commemorative piece coming up for auction at Sworders. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

A commemorative piece coming up for auction at Sworders. Picture: CONTRIBUTED


A rare commemorative item, believed to have been commissioned by Queen Victoria’s royal household, is coming up for auction in Stansted Mountfitchet.

The latter years of the Victorian era were the heyday of the royal commemorative.

Large numbers of glass, ceramics, fabric, paper and metal objects were produced to mark the golden and then the first diamond jubilee for Queen Victoria.

According to Sworders, while most commemoratives are collectable, most will sell for only "modest sums".

However, the auction house says a small 7.6 x 6.8cm silver picture frame with easel stand, listed for sale at Sworders as part of the collection of Bryan and Valerie Steele, is "a little different".

It is believed the frame, pierced and engraved with the 'VR' monogram and complete with a monochrome print of Queen Victoria in her later years, was one of a number commissioned by the royal household and given as tokens of appreciation.

Although the frame is hallmarked for London 1885, and stamped to the reverse 'Thornhill & Co, 114 New Bond St' the most prominent date is that which appears to the base - 1882.

A spokesman for Sworders said: "The year was an auspicious one for the queen: she passed 45 years on the throne - thereby becoming the longest reigning female ruler - Elizabeth I had managed 44 years, 127 days) - and escaped unhurt when an attempt was made on her life."

On March 2, 1882, Roderick Maclean, a disgruntled poet apparently offended by Victoria's refusal to accept one of his poems, shot at the queen as her carriage left Windsor railway station.

Victoria was so pleased by the many expressions of loyalty after the attack (Maclean was found not guilty by reason of insanity) that she said is reported to have said it was "worth being shot at - to see how much one is loved".

The item is coming up for sale at Sworders on June 25, and is expected to fetch £250-450. For more information, log on to www.sworder.co.uk.

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